FBI to help track down AWOL priest

By Mike Morris / The Union Democrat

The FBI has agreed to help Calaveras County prosecutors with extraditing a former Mother Lode priest accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy.

The Rev. Michael Eugene Kelly, a Catholic priest who served for a decade at St. Patrick's Church in Sonora and as head pastor at St. Andrew's Church in San Andreas from 2000 to 2002, was indicted by a criminal grand jury on four molestation charges.

Kelly was last known to be living in his native Ireland. He fled the United States nearly two years ago after being found liable of child sex abuse in a separate civil lawsuit brought by a former parishioner.

The Calaveras County District Attorney's Office obtained an arrest warrant for Kelly on Jan. 13. Calaveras County Superior Court Judge John Martin, who issued the warrant, set bail at $175,000 should Kelly be returned.

For the full story, see the March 7 edition of The Union Democrat.

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